The blogging community will play an important part in helping Lt. Col. Bill Russell defeat John Murtha. If you look on my other site (one that has the same postings as this one), you'll discover approximately 40 blogs listed as "4 Russell." All these blogs have printed material supportive of Russell; several of the bloggers have contributed to the campaign; a few are actively involved in their own fundraising efforts for the campaign; an important group of the bloggers (Douglas Gibbs, Eric Dondero, Jenn of the Jungle, and Snooper) have interviewed Bill and other people supporting him on BlogTalkRadio.
Traditionally, liberal, the "netroots" (or "nutroots," as some call them) have been better than we conservatives at online politics. That's changing -- as it must if we're to say competitive.
In 2004, Joe Trippi ran the successful Internet campaign for Howard Dean, and it was a tremendous success. In Trippi's book The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, he says that Dean's "Meetup" site had 600,000 participants. The Dean Campaign rasied more than $50 million, much of it coming from people online.
No Republican Campaign has come anywhere close to those numbers, although Ron Paul is setting some records of his own. In one day, Paul raised a total of $10 mllion from people contributing online.
To defeat John Murtha (who will spend $4 million-plus in this election cycle), Bill Russell needs to raise at least $500,000 -- preferably more. As usual, the Murtha campaign will throw money at his supporters in ways that are of questionable legality. In contrast, the Russell effort will be scrupulously legal and very efficient, with every dollar aimed at finding and getting votes.
In terms of contributions, Russell is doing well online, but needs to keep doing better. Correction, those of us campaigning online have to do better. We have to keep spreading the message that Murtha can be beaten -- and will be with the supportive of the conservative online community.
Yes, John Murtha will receive many millions of dollars from lobbyists and companies that he's essentially bought and paid for with federal dollars, a percentage of which are returned to him in the form of campaign contributions.
You can check out the malicious mess that is the Murtha Campaign by going to http://opensecrets.org and keying in the name "Murtha." You'll see that for the 2008 election, he'd already spent by last September 30, a total of almost $700,000. By the December 31 Federal Election Commission reporting date, Murtha will have spent more than a million dollars.
I assure you the contributions didn't come from lobbyists and companies committed to Good Government.
How can those of us committed to Russell overcome that avalanche of payoffs to "The Prince of Pork?" We can do it by outsmarting him in the campaign, which luckily won't be that hard. We can also do it by making the maximum use of an inexpensive medium -- the Internet. For example, this particular communication is not costing me anything, aside from the blood, sweat, and tears always involved with writing.
What do we need? At least 30,000 people online backing the Russell Campaign by advocating his candidacy (relax, we apparently have more than 1,000 already). Of the 30,000 as many as 2,000 should be bloggers. We also need 3,000-plus people to go the Russell web site and contribute money. A lot of contributions of $20, $50, and $100 will go a long way toward defeating Murtha.
Politics isn't brain surgery. It consists of the three M's: message, mobilization (of supporters), and money, which is necessary to get the message out and to mobilize thousands of people to win this race.
What can you do? Be one of those people that spreads the message; also, be a person who asks others to join you in volunteering to help Russell.
The third part is the most important. We conservatives need to start out-contributing the liberals.
Go the Russell web site and so what you can to make sure this outstanding candidate has the support he needs. Trust me: you'll feel good about it.